New Delhi: Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka and Tripura are yet to follow directives on timely payment of salaries to healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court, which said it cannot be 'helpless' in implementing the directions.
The court directed the Centre to issue necessary directions for releasing salaries of doctors and frontline healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19 duty on time.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R Shah asked the Centre to also clarify on treating compulsory quarantine period of healthcare workers as leave and deduction of their salaries for the same period.
"If the states are not complying with the directions and orders of the Central government, you are not helpless. You have to ensure that your order is implemented. You have got the power under the Disaster Management Act. You can take steps also", the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre.
Mehta said that after the top court's directions on June 17, necessary orders were issued on June 18 to all the states, with regard to payment of salaries to healthcare workers.
He said that many states have complied with the directions but some of them like Maharashtra, Punjab, Tripura and Karnataka have not paid salaries to the doctors and healthcare workers on time.